MEMPHIS – A gut punch for the Grizzlies… just days before Opening Day.
Big man Steven Adams, done for the season before it even begins with Adams set to undergo surgery on that troublesome right knee.
The team delivering the news Sunday.
Despite rehabbing hard during the summer and playing during this preseason. the knee just did not respond forcing the seven-footer to go under the knife.
Now, no Adams and no Ja Morant for the season’s first 25 games. That’s two starters sidelined.
A disappointing result, though it was one the Grizzlies knew was a real possibility after Adams went down in late January last year.
“If he had had surgery back in the spring, he’d probably missed all of this season as well. So he was doing everything in his powers to not have to go the surgery route,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “To have that process, it just got to this point now, unfortunately for him and for the team. But, you know, we’ve got to keep plowing ahead.”
“I know how hard he worked to get his body where he wants to be and how badly he wants to play,” said Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. “So sad for him.”
Even a guy who had yet to play a game with Adams knows that the loss means for the Grizzlies.
“Like Steve-O, what he brings to this game, he’s one of the best at what he does. He makes his team so much better,” said Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart. “He’s been here. He’s been a cornerstone for this team, someone that they can lean on and depend on. So taking a blow like that is definitely tough.”
In other Grizzlies news Monday, the team exercising the options on four players, Ziaire Williams, Santi Aladama, Jake Laravia and David Roddy.
Williams’ strong preseason has him in line to join Desmond Bane, Jackson, Smart and now Xavier Tillman in the starting line-up for Wednesday night’s season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.